This is an extremely difficult time that we are facing personally, in the communities we work with and in our organizations. We this realization, the 10to19 Dasra Adolescents Collaborate felt the responsibility to resonate the need for connection, coordination, and camaraderie. Thus, the Friends & Partners Meet on May 19, 2021 was a first step in this direction — to bring together some nonprofit organizations as a community and network, in a virtual space, to share challenges, struggles, and create a space to openly share, listen and learn.
The objective of this free-flowing, no-agenda session was simply to create a space where we could manage some of the isolation and helplessness all of us are feeling currently, with the hope that coming together, and sharing would help us better understand our role in responding to the impact of these times on the people and communities we serve.
The Friends and Partners Meet was attended by 12 organizations from across the country with varied focus and demographic interests, who also shared with each other how are they currently responding to the ongoing second surge of the pandemic.
This session was an opportunity for attending organizations to share their experiences of the ongoing crisis and to share, openly, the various challenges that they are currently facing. The session began with initial series of polls with the organizations highlighted the stark reality of organizational and financial health in the current scenario.
The polls revealed that organizations have put in place mechanisms for flexibility to ensure their employees are being supported, and have been encouraged by funders to do so. They have also had to significantly pivot their ongoing programs and a majority of attendees feel that they will be grappling with the consequences of COVID on their programs for up to 12 months. Details of the poll results can be seen below:
Additionally, key themes that emerged from the conversations include:
Based on the insights from the conversations, the following areas have emerged as being critical needs in the months to come, including:
Organizations also highlighted the value of these conversations through platforms like the Friends & Partners Meet, sharing themes and issues that would continue to remain relevant in the future, and would benefit from similar open conversations in the future. These issues ranged from immediate to longer-term goals, focusing on engaging young people and equipping them to survive the pandemic, to understanding where the sector is moving and identifying priority areas. Other key themes include:
This session was a first step towards understanding the many challenges that the sector and our partners are currently facing, in light of the second wave. The conversation highlighted not only several key priority areas, but also the need for a coordinated and shared response from stakeholders across the sector to ensure that we are able to protect and support our communities.
It is clear that we will need to continue pushing to prioritize the well-being of each other and the communities we serve. We will also explore how to better utilize this space and come together again to further discuss the critical themes that emerged from this initial discussion. Meanwhile, the Collaborative will continue this series of consultations with various stakeholder groups, including members of our 10to19 Community of Practice. Our next consultations will be held on Tuesday, June 1st and Thursday, June 3rd, and will be open to all.